“He Shall Prepare a Way”

By Carolyn Schneider

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    “It’s not fair,” I muttered to no one in particular, but my best friend, Maria, heard me.

    “What’s not fair?” she asked.

    As we walked home from school together, I tried to explain. I began by saying that I’d always enjoyed doing the kinds of things the boys did and that I would never learn to be a “little lady,” even though I was the oldest of four children. I absolutely hated washing the dishes, and I hated arguing with my mother.

    I kicked a small rock in disgust because my home life seemed hard sometimes.

    “Not only that,” I complained, “my parents don’t even live under the same roof.” Maria, who had only recently begun teaching me about her Church, was very quiet for a moment. She later told me that during that time in her life she had been hesitant about making friends with people whose homes had such a different atmosphere than what she was used to. Nevertheless, she quickly came to a decision.

    After walking along the road a little farther, she decided to use a scripture, rather than trying to tell me what was wrong with my attitude. Quoting the words of Nephi she said:

    “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne. 3:7).

    The quotation from her church’s scriptures was new to me because I had never read the Book of Mormon, although she had challenged me to do so. Maria knew that I’d been taught the Ten Commandments and that I was familiar with the commandment to honor parents. She told me that I could obey the commandments because the Lord would help me, and that I could solve my problems by trusting that the Lord would prepare a way for me.

    Today, four years later, I enjoy a very good relationship with each of my parents. I am also a member of the Church. Although I experienced family pressure not to join and I only had a small testimony, I persisted in my goal, built up my testimony, and waited for my parents’ permission to be baptized.

    How did I last so long without becoming discouraged or giving up? I trusted in the Lord, and he prepared a way for me to obey his commandments.

    Illustrated by Jerry Thompson